Table_1_Systematic Review of Plant Ribosome Heterogeneity and Specialization.xlsx

Plants dedicate a high amount of energy and resources to the production of ribosomes. Historically, these multi-protein ribosome complexes have been considered static protein synthesis machines that are not subject to extensive regulation but only read mRNA and produce polypeptides accordingly. New and increasing evidence across various model organisms demonstrated the heterogeneous nature of ribosomes. This heterogeneity can constitute specialized ribosomes that regulate mRNA translation and control protein synthesis. A prominent example of ribosome heterogeneity is seen in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, which, due to genome duplications, has multiple paralogs of each ribosomal protein (RP) gene. We support the notion of plant evolution directing high RP paralog divergence toward functional heterogeneity, underpinned in part by a vast resource of ribosome mutants that suggest specialization extends beyond the pleiotropic effects of single structural RPs or RP paralogs. Thus, Arabidopsis is a highly suitable model to study this phenomenon. Arabidopsis enables reverse genetics approaches that could provide evidence of ribosome specialization. In this review, we critically assess evidence of plant ribosome specialization and highlight steps along ribosome biogenesis in which heterogeneity may arise, filling the knowledge gaps in plant science by providing advanced insights from the human or yeast fields. We propose a data analysis pipeline that infers the heterogeneity of ribosome complexes and deviations from canonical structural compositions linked to stress events. This analysis pipeline can be extrapolated and enhanced by combination with other high-throughput methodologies, such as proteomics. Technologies, such as kinetic mass spectrometry and ribosome profiling, will be necessary to resolve the temporal and spatial aspects of translational regulation while the functional features of ribosomal subpopulations will become clear with the combination of reverse genetics and systems biology approaches.